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Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón

The Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón is located at Torrejón Air Force Base, northeast of Madrid, Spain. Its primary mission is to plan, direct, coordinate, monitor, analyse and report on the operations of Air Policing means assigned to it in peace time. The unit's area of responsibility comprises European NATO airspace south of the Alps. Hence Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón is responsible for some of NATO's special Air Policing arrangements, such as Air Policing over Albania, Air Policing over Slovenia and Air Policing over Montenegro.

Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón is manned with staff from 17 NATO nations, currently filling 185 peacetime positions, which will increase to 190 to support an adapted structure. The post of the Commander is filled by a Lieutenant-General of the Spanish Air Force. For exercises and crisis response the unit maintains the ability to deploy its staff to contribute to NATO's Joint Force Air Component.


Learn more about the responsibilities and expert backgrounds of Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón's multinational leadership staff.


In the center of the unit's crest, against a light blue background, a sable colored castle with two towers is positioned over five blue waves. From the left tower, three stylized aircraft are arching upwards. The top left corner features a silver and sable colored four-point Compass Rose. The surrounding silver edge incorporates the name of the unit in sable color at the top and the bottom.

The blue background represents the unbounded sky as an inherent Air Force element. This color also holds the heraldic values of Justice, Ownership, Truth, and Loyalty.

The blue waves at the bottom represent the majestic Mediterranean Sea which extends from the Atlantic Ocean at its West, towards the confines of the Black Sea at the East, engulfing in between the majority of the countries in the Area of Responsibility. This heraldic sea symbolizes the brave and engaged spirit that never gives up and holds its boundaries at the obedience of its Sovereign.

The castle symbolizes the great power and strength employed to protect its friends and allies while resisting the enemy threat with invincible gallantry. The dark sable color holds the heraldic values of Prudence, Rigor, Honesty, and Obedience. The Tower symbol, in heraldic tradition denotes the generosity from which the knight offers his unconditional services to his homeland and his King.

The three stylized aircraft represent Air Power. In heraldic tradition, their arrow shapes are the symbol of the true warrior spirit. Their white- silver color represents the heraldic values of Purity, Integrity, Obedience, Firmness, and Vigilance.

The NATO insignia, in its classic form of a Compass Rose, provides the direction to which all Service professionals should follow towards mission accomplishment and marks Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón as a unit within the NATO Command Structure.

The gray-silver color of the herald's edge, again symbolizes the values of Purity, Integrity, Obedience, Firmness, and Vigilance. At the head and foot of the edge, the name of the unit is inscribed as CAOC TORREJÓN, CAOC being the official NATO acronym for Combined Air Operations Centre.


Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón evolved from the former structure's Combined Air Operations Centre 8 in early 2013 has been fulfilling its mission since the beginning of, when it, gradually assuming the air defense of the different countries that are in its area of responsibility. For this reason, all control and command equipment and systems have been modernized. It has been the 1st unit of the current NATO Structure to achieve full operational capacity in July 2014.


Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón
Base Aérea Torrejón
Ctra. N-II Km. 22,5 – Edificio 201
C.P. 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid)

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